Has a charge of +2
Is referred to by two names
Glucinium – from the Greek word sweet
Beryllium – named after the material beryl in which it is
most commonly found.
Pure beryllium only occurs naturally in small amounts, more
commonly found as a compound.
Most common ore of beryllium is beryl (Be3(Al2(SiO3))
Found in the earths crust, 2 to 10 ppm (parts per million).
This means it is relatively common metal.
State at room temperature - solid
Steel greyish-white surface
Density – 1.85 g.cmˉ³
Melting point - 1287°C
Boiling point - 2469°C
Heat capacity – 16.443 J-mol ˉ ¹.K ˉ ¹
Excellent thermal conductor
Many of its salts display a sweet taste
When left exposed beryllium will quickly react with oxygen to form beryllium
oxide. This BeO from the reaction coats the metal with a layer which prevents
Reacts with acids to form water and hydrogen gas
Does however, resist attack by nitric acid.
Solubility of beryllium and its salts vary
Beryllium chloride, fluoride, nitrate, phosphate and sulfate are all soluble
BeCl2, BeF2, Be(NO3)2, Be3(PO4)2 and BeSO4.
Other beryllium compounds are either insoluble or slightly soluble
Has one naturally occurring isotope and six other radioactive isotopes. These
isotopes have no commercial use.
▪ Radioactive isotopes are ones that break apart and give off some form of
radiation. These isotopes are produced when very small particles are fired
at the atoms.
Extensively used in X-ray machines. Thin sheets filter out visible light and only allow xrays to be detected.
Nuclear industry as a neutron reflector and moderator in nuclear reactors. Also used in
nuclear weapons as a shell to surround the plutonium.
Used in defense and airspace industries. These include high-speed aircraft, missile
space vehicles and communication satellites.
Liquid fueled rockets have nozzles of pure beryllium.
In telecommunication, tools of beryllium are used to tune highly magnetic klystrons.
Hardening agent in alloys.
Most commonly beryllium-copper alloys. Three quarters of beryllium produced
goes towards this process. This material has high electrical/thermal conductivity,
high strength/hardness, non-magnetic and good corrosion/fatigue resistance.
Used in spot-welding electrodes, springs, non-sparking tools and electrical
Beralcast (alloy of beryllium and aluminium) used in helicopters and guidance
systems as it is 3 times as stiff yet 25% lighter than aluminium.
Widely used in jewelry.
Two popular gemstones, emeralds and aquamarines, are in fact beryl that
have impurities in them. Traces of chromium result in a brilliant green, and
iron as an impurity results in beautiful blues.
Can also be found as a tie tack or clip.
Used to be used in florescent lighting tubes
was discontinued due to health risks to workers)
Used for mirrors and lenses in the James Webb Space Telescope and Spitzer
Space Telescope, as the mirrors will have to face temperatures of -240 °C. The
beryllium doesn’t contract and deform as much as glass when presented with
James Webb Space Telescope
Nuclear spin 3/2Large scattering cross-section for high energy
6 barns (defined as 10−28 m2 )
Works as neutron reflector and neutron
9Be undergoes (n,2n) neutron reaction to
produce 8Be which breaks into alpha particles
It is a neutron multiplier, releasing more
neutrons than it absorbs
Beryllium also releases neutrons under
bombardment by gamma rays
as reflector material in nuclear weapons
Surrounds spherical plutonium pit
Is surrounded by high explosives
Beryllium liner acts as
A medium that reduces the speed of fast
Turning them into thermal neutrons
Capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction
Use of beryllium is limited because:
1.It is expensive
Powder metallurgy” techniques are used
manufacturing different designs of
These techniques include
is a conventional approach to the creation of thick-walled
Extrusion provides consistent mechanical properties,
dimensions and tolerances.
Sections are made to dimensions that are well within
commercial tolerances, and mechanical properties are
superior to those of hot-pressed block in the direction of
Directional properties are produced in varying degrees as
a function of crystallographic orientation.